Let’s face it, we have all heard it in one form or another, “can drinking water help you lose weight” “water for weight loss” “lose weight by drinking water” – but how exactly could that possibly work? I used to imagine a “water diet” as one that involves you drinking nothing but water, which made sense because of course you would lose weight. How could you not when water is zero calories? But how do you deal with the deep hunger pains and stomach grumbles throughout the day? Having spent several weeks researching the most effective water diets, I have learned that my initial pre-conceptions could not have been any further from the truth.
An effective water diet essentially means that you add more water to your diet.
Even though this sounds incredibly simple, doing this will:
i) boost your metabolism
ii) help your body cleanse itself of waste
iii) suppress your appetite meaning that you eat less food in the long run and
iv) stop your body from retaining water, which will also help you drop those extra pounds
In this comprehensive A-Z guide you will learn:
- The science behind using water for weight-loss and why it is so effective
- Quick life hacks to get more water into your diet
- How to implement the most effective water diet
1. The Science Behind Drinking Water and Weight Loss
Study Shows Drinking Water Will Help You Lose More Weight
If you think that the hype around using water as a way to lose weight has no substance, think again. A new research study shows that drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal will lead to more weight loss. These are the results published in a study printed in a journal called Obesity, in which a number of participants struggling with weight loss were instructed to drink water before eating in order to see if doing this alone would help them shed pounds. The author of the study, Dr Amanda Daley from the University of Birmingham in the UK says, “If you look at any sort of weight management program, they all say drinking lots of water is a really good thing…. We said, let’s go see what the actual evidence is for this.”
After searching for evidence that water can indeed help with weight loss but finding very little in the academic literature, Daley and her colleagues decided to carry out a study themselves to prove once and for all the effectiveness of using this approach. The team brought 84 adults suffering with obesity together for a twelve-week experiment.
The participants of the experiment were divided into 2 groups, the first group was told to drink 500 ml of water (which is about 16oz) and to do this 30 minutes before each meal, while the other group was instructed to simply visualise their stomach being full before each meal.
The researchers carefully monitored each person’s weight at the beginning, middle and end of the study. They took regular urine samples to make sure the group who were supposed to drink water before each meal was actually following the instructions to do so. Finally, they kept track of their physical activity to make sure this remained unchanged and therefore also ensure the integrity of the study.
The group that drank 500ml or 16 oz of water before each meal reported to have lost around 3 pounds more than the other group over the 12-week period. What is more interesting is that the more they drank, the better the results were. For example, the participants that drank the full 16 oz before each meal lost around 9 pounds (or 4.3 kg).
9 pounds is about what you can expect to lose from going to Weight Watchers for 12 weeks but bear in mind that you haven’t had to spend any more on an expensive diet or make any substantial changes to your lifestyle.
Why Was It Effective?
Enthused by the results of the study, Dr Daley suggests that using water in this way is so effective because obviously water “fills you up” but might also help shape your decisions about what you actually end up eating.
Although she admits that this study is simply a first step in displaying the effectiveness of this weight loss technique she concludes that drinking water before meals can help most people with managing their weight irrespective of their BMI status. If you are slim and happy with your weight, then you could employ this as a “prevention strategy”.
In any case, the bottom line is that you should always remember to chug down a few glasses of water before meals, doing this could mean that you end up eating much less and reduce your calorie intake without even trying.
2. Quick Life Hacks to Drinking More Water
After reading about the study above, I’m sure you are desperate to get more water in your diet so I’ve put together a few quick and easy to implement life hacks to help you do this.
Hack 1: Drinking Water Prior to Eating
After the study described in the previous section, drinking before you eat should seem like an obvious quick hack but if you needed any more convincing then consider a report by one of the biggest online health resource websites, WebMD. One of the articles on the site quotes different experts and provides evidence to show that consuming water prior to a meal will result in you eating 75 lesser calories for each meal. This might not sound like a lot but doing this over the period of a year could result in 27,000 lesser calories – all from doing something as painless as drinking extra water.
Hack 2: Replace Beverages with Water
If you are trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve already stopped drinking fizzy drinks or at least trying to seriously reduce your intake. However, water can sometimes be so boring and serious sugar addicts could suffer with an unbeatable hit of intense cravings. If this sounds like you, here are 2 options to help combat this:
- Add some fruits to your water to sweeten it up. Popular options are to cut a portion of lemon but you could also experiment with things like strawberries, oranges and even cucumbers
- If you really need a stronger hit of sugar, then use some sugar free squash and add it to sparkling water. It will taste as good as any soft drink on the market but with a fraction of the calories
Hack 3: Drink Water When It’s Ice Cold
Drink water when it is very cold. Why? Consuming chilled water assists with boosting your metabolism due to the fact that your body has to function harder to warm up the water when it enters your body. According to the editorial team at WebMD, the result of this is that your body burns more calories as it tries to moderate your body’s temperature. Doing this over time is another easy way to lose weight.
Hack 4: Always Get Enough
The old adage was that you needed to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day but experts are now coming to the consensus that the quantity of water you require will depend on your weight, size and level of physical activity.
Here is a basic breakdown of what your daily water intake might look like if you base it purely on your weight and nothing else.
|Daily Water Intake Ounces (Oz)||Daily Water Intake Millilitres (ml)||Daily Water Intake Litres (L)|
|100 lbs (45.3 kg)||67 oz||1981 ml||1.981 L|
|110 lbs (49.8 kg)||74 oz||2188 ml||2.188 L|
|120 lbs (54.4 kg)||80 oz||2366 ml||2.366 L|
|130 lbs (58.9 kg)||87 oz||2573 ml||2.573 L|
|140 lbs (63.5 kg)||94 oz||2780 ml||2.780 L|
|150 lbs (68.0 kg)||100 oz||2957 ml||2.957 L|
|160 lbs (72.5 kg)||107 oz||3164 ml||3.164 L|
|170 lbs (77.1 kg)||114 oz||3371 ml||3.371 L|
|180 lbs (81.6 kg)||121 oz||3578 ml||3.578 L|
|190 lbs (86.1 kg)||127 oz||3755 ml||3.755 L|
|200 lbs (90.7 kg)||134 oz||3963 ml||3.963 L|
|210 lbs (95.2 kg)||141 oz||4170 ml||4.170 L|
|220 lbs (99.7kg)||148 oz||4377 ml||4.377 L|
|230 lbs (104.3 kg)||154 oz||4554 ml||4.554 L|
|240 lbs (108.8kg)||161 oz||4761 ml||4.761 L|
|250 lbs (113.3 kg)||168 oz||4968 ml||4.968 L|
Please note that the table above is only a rough guide that is placed here as a reference.
Remember that you may be required to consume more water when you are physically exerting yourself or in a very hot climate and some diets (like the one presented in the study by Dr Daley) may encourage you to drink more as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are in any doubt, seek the advice of a qualified health professional before making big changes to your daily water intake.
3. The Most Effective Way to Do the Water Diet
What Is the Water Diet?
The water diet is a diet plan that involves you drinking 2 litres of water a day.
This is not to be confused with other water diets like the ginger tea diet, which is primarily designed to raise your core body temperature to stimulate weight loss. In the water diet, all you have to do is drink plain, simple water without adding anything else.
Drinking plenty of water has been shown to be effective at stimulating weight loss and has other health benefits for instance, improving blood circulation. However, if you combine the water diet with a food diet, regular exercise and healthy eating habits (e.g. not eating late at night) then you are likely to slim down in a healthier way.
The following sections will introduce you to a water diet plan that is based on some of the most effective water dieting methods.
Effective Weight Loss Through the Water Diet
You will be happy to know that there is only one rule to follow in the water diet plan: drink 2 litres or up to 4% of your body weight in water each day. However, whatever you do, be sure to not drink all the water in one sitting, the idea is that you drink it throughout the whole day.
When is The Best Time to Drink Water During the Water Diet?
The best times to drink water are:
- After waking up, ideally with a slice of lemon
- 30 minutes before each meal (drink up to 500ml or 16 ounces)
Also, remember to gradually work in ways to increase your daily water intake outside of these times.
Why Does the Water Diet Work?
The water diet works because first and foremost, water is good for you. Your body is at least 55% water and we need a sufficient amount of water to function. This article so far has outlined simple ways that water can suppress your food intake and make you feel fuller before you’ve even eaten.
Aside from the possibilities in weight loss, water also has many side benefits like boosting your metabolism, lubricating joints and it works as a natural detox.
The cells and organs in your body need water as they are using it all the time and giving your body proper hydration is said to be a good way to give your basal metabolism rate a boost. It improves your blood circulation and encourages a healthy lymph flow that is necessary to get the best detox effect. Having a faster metabolism will also mean that you are regularly cleansing your body, which makes it harder to gain weight.
In addition to this, you will find that the water diet will help remedy everyday issues like constipation.
The best part is that water is zero calories so you never have to worry about having to burn off excess energy and for the most part water is free.
The water diet doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that would be effective especially with all the spurious Internet hype. But I have spent many weeks looking at all the research and can confirm that the evidence is rock solid: adding more water to your diet will help you shed pounds with very little effort and at almost no additional cost.
The key practical takeaways from this article is twofold:
- Drink more water throughout the day ideally around 2 litres or around 4% of your bodyweight
- Drink water 30 minutes before each meal
However, do not drink too much water in one sitting. Being overhydrated could be as harmful as being dehydrated, in extreme cases drinking too much water very quickly could lead to disastrous health effects and I have covered this topic extensively in this article.
Credit: This article is written by MrWaterGeek.com